Rural Pennsylvania is known for its beautiful countryside, so when Dean Carlson – a former Wall Street bond trader – decided to convert Honey Brook’s Wyebrook Farm to a sustainable restaurant, his focus was on aesthetics. Carson selected a 230-year-old stone barn and chose our S-Series system and Lossnay Energy Recovery Ventilator to keep it comfortable. This combination allowed the restoration to have an 18th-century look, with a 20th-century feel.
Keeping in theme with the pastoral surroundings, the goal was to retain the farmhouse look by keeping mechanical systems discreet. Rich Nolan – the project’s designer – said of Carlson’s vision: “They didn’t want ductwork hanging across the restaurant; and you don’t want to be at dinner eating a grass-fed piece of beef and have the compressor kick on.”
Our system avoided all of this. Minimally invasive piping would allow the old building to live a second life without renovating the façade. Further, a building that had never needed any HVAC system would keep the appearance it always had, without obtrusive ductwork, and the restaurant would be sustainable both in the food it served as well as its independence from fossil fuels. As a result, the restaurant has received two awards for Nolan’s work and Carlson’s vision.
To read more about Wyebrook Farm, check out the case study.
The latest buzzword in the building industry is “carbon-neutral,” and it just might stick around for a while. At first, carbon neutrality was an idea: balancing the amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount that is offset or sequestered. Now, we’re seeing actual carbon-neutral projects crop up around the country, and conversation turn toward this latest version of sustainable building practices.
One place that conversation is taking place is in the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance (CNCA) – a group of international cities committed to achieving aggressive long-term carbon reduction goals. Their Innovation Fund is accepting proposals next week for city-by-city sustainability efforts. This will begin the process of creating a consortium of carbon-neutral cities, with a longer-term goal of advancing carbon-neutral technology.
While the CNCA has set a goal of 80 percent greenhouse gas reduction by 2050, Seattle is striving for complete carbon neutrality by that same benchmark. Seattle has moved beyond planning to actually doing and is already one of the top 10 cities in the country for LEED® and ENERGY STAR®-certified buildings. On the opposite coast, South Carolina real estate developer Richards Gregory has already achieved carbon neutrality, creating a zero-carbon office building.
Not only are we inspired by this movement around the country, we’re also excited to see how our own products can contribute to these efforts. We note, for example, that solar energy is a key component to carbon-neutral projects, making our electric heat pumps a smart HVAC choice. As carbon-neutral moves from buzzword to, perhaps, standard, it’s an exciting time to research, develop and live!
Millennials’ tastes and demands evolve quickly – dictated by changes in the economy and technology, which impact what they purchase and how long they use it. Selling to this demographic comes with specific challenges, including being able to respond to these fluid factors. It becomes important to find the constant in all that shifting. The Responsive Home project – which studies market trends – recently identified one such constant in the millennial marketplace: “value.” Kevin McJoynt of Gerber and Danze said it this way: “Millennials want high quality at a fair price.”
As we continue to innovate, we know that establishing value for our end users means providing products that cost or use less. A recent Nielson study further proved this, claiming that millennials are placing an emphasis on buying sustainable products. Those of us in the HVAC industry are no stranger to the concepts of sustainability and efficiency. It’s no surprise to see these younger consumers learning what we’ve known all along – it makes sense to invest a little more up front if value is delivered over the life of a purchase.
From the professional side of the table, this finding that millennials prize value is nothing earth-shattering, but will be helpful to keep aware of when working with this age group. Planning with millennials in mind will not only help us all appeal to this next generation of home owners, but will ultimately prompt us to keep improving…because we all know that millennials love innovation!
We want to thank everyone who took the time to step inside our Mitsubishi Electric Demo Truck on the showroom floor at this week’s AHR Expo. If you missed it, passersby had the opportunity to tour the vehicle to get a firsthand look at our latest commercial and light commercial products. Visitors were surprised to find that the equipment on display inside the truck was fully operational. This gave attendees an opportunity to interact with our CITY MULTI® VRF systems and experience just how whisper-quiet they truly are.
Special thanks, as well, to Nicole Curtis, star of HGTV’s “Rehab Addict.” Nicole joined us for a two-hour meet-and-greet, generating long lines for the opportunity to get an autograph and photo!
We also want to take time to thank those who joined us at Cuba Libre for a night of celebration and even a little dancing (yes, we saw you).
We rolled in with a truck and rolled out with cigars, and hope you all had as much fun in Orlando as we had with you!
On Friday, January 15, Sgt. Nathan Young and his family were welcomed into their new home in Luling, Louisiana. The home was built and gifted by our partner, Operation FINALLY HOME (OFH), a non-profit organization focused on building mortgage-free homes for veterans.
While serving in Iraq in 2010, Sgt. Young’s vehicle was struck by a pair of Russian Anti-Tank Grenades. The incident forced him into rehab for a traumatic brain injury, and eventually into retirement in 2013.
Built by Tyson Construction – out of the Greater New Orleans area – our donations helped this home to be designed with Sgt. Young in mind. The 2,285-square-foot house – cooled and heated by our M-Series heat pumps – is spacious enough for the family and a quiet room that offers Sgt. Young relief from combat-induced migraines. For this room, Tyson installed two of our whisper-quiet SLZ indoor units.
We are proud that our products have had a part in this project and we’re happy to finally welcome the Young family home.
This week, more than 75,000 building enthusiasts traveled to Las Vegas for Design & Construction Week, including world’s largest residential and light construction event: 2016 International Builders’ Show (IBS). When attendees weren’t touring the thousands of exhibitor booths, they participated in educational sessions hosted by renowned building professionals from around the world.
Outside the showroom, attendees had a chance to see our products in The Modern Home – an exhibition home built for the show by Palm Harbor Homes. The home models sustainable technologies in a modern setting, including our compact PMFY one-way ceiling-recessed cassette indoor unit.
On Tuesday night, we joined our partner Operation FINALLY HOME (OFH), builders and other sponsors at The House of Blues for a promotional concert starring country music singer, Kix Brooks. OFH – a non-profit organization focused on building mortgage-free homes for veterans – hosts this annual event to raise awareness for the organization. We felt lucky to be in the company of such a generous organization during such an exciting event.
Peter Evans Photography
Bethesda, Maryland, a northwest suburb of Washington, DC enjoys mild winters but endures oppressive summers. As a result, the challenge when planning the area’s first certified Passive House project was installing a system that could handle these hot, humid summers, even in a tight space. The design team selected our S-Series system to answer that need.
The neighborhood produced an additional challenge: aesthetics. Bethesda is full of high-end neighborhoods, so choosing a system that could match the area’s upscale look and feel presented limitations. Our systems provided an easy solution. Architect David Peabody said, “Working the equipment into my design didn’t present many challenges.”
He continued, “[Multi-zone systems] are pretty much the only approach anyone’s using for Passive Houses,” and with good reason. Using our technology, the Lindholm family – who purchased the home post-construction – pays just $57/month on average for cooling and heating. The average energy bill in Maryland is $193/month, and $280/month in the Bethesda area alone. Martin Lindholm said, “We were looking for a bigger house and were interested in a smaller carbon footprint.” We’re glad that our products could be such a flexible solution on this monumental project.
Read the full case study for more details.
December was pleasantly warm, but don’t let that catch you off guard. The cold is on its way – for some of us it’s already here – and as you continue to work through the winter, we are working to help you prepare for the cold weather. Already, our CITY MULTI® and P-Series Hyper-Heat™ outdoor units boast impressive functionality – 100 percent heat capacity as low as 5 degrees Fahrenheit – but protecting the system from the elements makes systems that much more efficient.
Suggestions from our Cold Weather Solutions Guide include:
- Block the wind – Wind deflectors compatible with the CITY-MULTI Y-series and R2-Series upgrade existing wire guards without sacrificing accessibility, and maintain full airflow while also providing a more efficient defrost cycle.
- Avoid the ice – Propping outdoor units on cold-weather stands keeps the units out of the snow, guaranteeing the highest performance possible. Similarly, adding a snow hood helps avoid blockage, keeping the unit operating at maximum efficiency.
- Beat the ice - Base pan heaters help prevent ice buildup on outdoor units. Even without precipitation, areas subject to frequent cold can see ice build up quickly. Keep units running smoothly by keeping them ice-fr
We go into more in-depth suggestions when you Read our Cold Weather Solutions Guide.
Water-source Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems are one of the most energy-efficient ways to cool and heat a building. Water sourcing helps maintain a consistent temperature without having to constantly monitor and maintain air temperature, and VRF’s small piping makes installation and renovation simple. However, water-based systems can be a challenging application in areas like California, where water conservation is a daily concern.
In the District of Columbia, D.C. Water has developed technology to convert waste water into energy by converting solid byproducts into usable energy, while also funneling steam back into the energy recovery process. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said, “D.C. Water’s Blue Plains facility is converting waste to clean water and a nutrient-rich soil byproduct, producing energy and helping to put the district on the path towards a zero waste future.”
We’re excited to watch this technology spread across the country. Applying it in water-conscious areas makes water source VRF a more viable option. As we all look for ways to operate more efficiently and thoughtfully, this is potentially very good news.
Cities are constantly looking to initiate more green building projects and to update older, existing buildings. In short: Cities are going green. In Boston, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) announced a $30 million initiative to increase the use of clean cooling and heating systems on these projects. In December, MassCEC listed our products as eligible for this rebate, including our MSZ-FH09NA/MUZ-FH09NA system. The rebate for houses using air source heat pumps ranges from $750 to $3,750.
For your customers in Massachusetts considering our systems, this rebate just might seal the deal. Massachusetts natives have shown interest in being energy conscious – ranking first as the most energy-efficient state for the last five years – and promotions like these are attractive to those needs.
For more information about which products are eligible check out MassCEC.com